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Running social media for your brand may seem pretty simple from the outside – a few comments here and there, a publish few posts and then get a few thousand likes. However, those who have adopted it as a core marketing channel, and tried to monetize it for their brand, have found that its not as simple as it looks.

Social media started in the late 90s as a tool to stay in touch with friends in your network, by 2021 however it has evolved into much more. Platforms are mainly used to put out business agendas, content creators curate interesting graphics, people called ‘influencers’ connect products with consumers, and you can even access educational content on there too.

The fact is, social media is now the biggest marketing platform out there and its constantly evolving. If you are not capitalising on it, then you could become a victim of disruptive innovation, and find yourself and your brand left behind.

How to use Social Listening to grow your socials?

If you already have a good presence on social media but want to improve your efforts, social listening is a great tool to help grow your presence even further. It allows you to narrow down on trends relevant to your brand or offering in real-time. You can then adapt your social content strategy accordingly so that you are always ahead of your competitors when it comes to these trending topics. A perfect example of this is the ‘how it started vs. how it’s going” trend which started out with couples however, brands like Mercedes Benz jumped on the trend very quickly.

So did Pretty Little thing.

At connective3 we also jumped on the band wagon, pretty early in fact as a result of our social listening tool!

If you are new to social-media and would like to grow your social from scratch, then social listening will give insight into the best hashtags to use in your social strategy for your brand. It will also give you insights into your industry and your competitors so you can see what content is working and what is not so you can adjust your own content plan accordingly to achieve optimum results.

So, what is social listening?

Social listening allows businesses to track, analyse and respond to conversations related to their brand, or their competitors on social media through the power of AI. You can then analyse this data in a way, and pull out key actionable insights, to improve branding, customer service, products and more. It’s a treasure trove of information which can be crucial towards helping you understand how your customers are engaging with your brand.

A simple example is that social media listening could be used it to pick up complaints about your brand from customers, allowing you to reply to them swiftly and maintain optimum customer service. The flip side to this is that you could use it to see when customers are enjoying your products, and you can use this to help with brand advocacy. Social listening is a multi-use tool that can be used not only for social but for PR too, take a look at our blog post to find out how you can build links using the tool:

Here are few social listening tools you could use:

  • Linkfluence
  • Sproutsocial
  • io
  • Brandwatch
  • Talkwalker

Opinion mining

Social listening can seem very similar to social media monitoring. However, social media monitoring looks at surface level metrics such as engagement rate and number of mentions, whereas social listening looks behind the data to things like sentiment, emoji analysis, competitor analysis, and hashtag analysis.

Opinion mining (otherwise known as sentiment analysis) is a “text analysis technique that uses computational linguistics and natural language processing to automatically detect sentiment or opinion from within text” using natural language processing and determines whether it is positive, negative, or neutral.

Here are a few ways of opinion mining can help you gain a competitive advantage:

Crisis management

Opinion mining will allow you to detect negative sentiment on posts regarding your brand quickly and allow you to respond efficiently. Negative sentiment within the posts regarding your brand will allow you to pick up on a PR crisis and avoid negative press quickly.

One example of this is when a passenger on Aer Lingus posted a photo on social media of a packed flight during the current Covid-19 pandemic. This caused a massive backlash for the brand. However, social listening allowed them to respond efficiently and quickly to the incident.

Engage and respond to customers

Social listening will allow you to identify all posts related to your brand or posts mentioning you so you will not miss a thing! Engaging with these posts will not only improve your customer service but will improve your social engagement and in turn sales. Whether it is positive or negative, it is always beneficial to acknowledge your customers. One brand that has done this well is Taco Bell as customer service is a top priority online and offline. They use social listening to ensure their customer service is to the best of their ability whether it be replying quickly to a complaint or ensuring product quality.

The marketing department at Taco Bell said:

“Instead of sitting behind glass and listening to a focus group, we now have access to 20 million consumers and can be inspired by them and connect with them and have real relationships with them”

Market and product research

If you are wanting to release a new product or service social listening allows you to identify what consumers like or what they dislike by analysing the emotional segment on their posts. This way, brands can find solutions to their consumers’ problem or supplying a demand thus, giving them the advantage of time as by using social listening brands will be able to detect this before their competitors. Below you can see an example of this when running ‘Tesla’ through our social tool. In the sentiment section you can determine how people are reacting to the brand in a certain time period you select.

Identify your customers’ needs or dislikes

By monitoring your customers/audience, you can identify their needs or desires and cater to them quickly. By acting on the back of this data, brands can create products/services, marketing, and social media strategies. Fit bit is a perfect example of a brand who has utilised social listening to not only engage and respond to customers but to mould their product offering to the needs of their consumers for example, they developed a ‘Reminders to Move’ feature on the back of the feedback detected by social listening – a buzzing feature reminding users to move around.

Keeping a close eye on your competitors

Social listening technology will provide you with endless amounts of data if you request it, what you do with that data that will provide an edge against your competitors. You can explore what your competitors are currently doing, analyse their past performance regarding business updates, marketing campaigns, product launches, etc. Social listening gives you that advantage so you can identify your opportunities and threats in real-time and effectively respond this way you can always stay one step ahead.

Identify influencers most relevant and effective to your campaigns

When running a campaign involving influencers it is important to use individuals that will have the biggest impact on your audience. Social listening provides you with the data that determines the most ideal candidate for your brand but also the necessary insights to see how well they have performed after it has been executed.

Stay tuned for my next blog for more social-media tips, or if you just can’t wait head to our Social Media page for more info on our approach.

For a free social media report on the link here.